Aviation Discussion

Discussion in 'Other Public Transport' started by trentside, 25 Mar 2012.

  1. stut

    stut Established Member

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    Miami used to, given its status as de fact hub for Latin America. It was awful. Painfully slow security and a tiny little dump of a holding room before you could travel onwards.

    The difficulty is that most international US airports are set up to share domestic and international departures, *and* to share domestic arrivals and departures. So you could theoretically do an airside transfer without leave to enter the US, then just walk out of the concourse.
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    One of the Gatwick terminals has most of that feature (and I think most of Heathrow too). You have your photo taken at check-in/on entering security so it can be verified on boarding the domestic flight to ensure there has been no boarding-pass swaparound. Otherwise you could book a domestic flight separately from the transit point and get in that way.

    They don't however share domestic arrivals with departures. Edinburgh is the only one I can think of that does that (you arrive up the airbridge into the departure hall and leave via the domestic arrivals exit without any check) and I don't believe it offers airside transit without entering the UK.

    It can't happen in most countries because most countries have outbound physical passport control - the US and UK are two of the few odd countries that don't, they instead rely on the airlines recording who left.
     
  3. stut

    stut Established Member

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    Yup, that's the key point. However, there are a number of Schengen zone airports with a hybrid approach - where the Schengen area is mixed arrivals and departures, and the non-Schengen area accessed through the Schengen area. Copenhagen is a good example of this. Vienna always used to have a slightly quirky approach with some individual gates in the Schengen area able to have individual passport control set up, too. This means trusting inbound security, though (or doing inbound security checks, which is never fun - yes, Schiphol on Caribbean flights, I'm looking at you...)
     
  4. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    That's like Madrid-Barajas. The main (new) terminal 4 is the main Schengen location and the satellite terminal 4S (acessible only by an underground people-mover from T4) is non-Schengen. Terminal 4 however has some gates that can be used for non-Schengen flights.
     
  5. gsnedders

    gsnedders Established Member

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    Plenty of UK regional airports do this for domestic arrivals (Glasgow, Aberdeen, Southampton, Birmingham IIRC). As long as everyone in the departure hall has cleared the UK border (which they have, because everyone from international arrivals must first pass through the UK border), there's no reason to build a separate passageway for it.
     
  6. FQTV

    FQTV Member

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    I think that you might have missed the nuance of what @Bletchleyite is saying, in that if you're in International Transit at a UK airport that offers it, you don't pass through the UK Border.

    At Edinburgh, arriving domestic passengers mix with departing international ones, before walking out through a door for domestic arrivals. If Edinburgh also offered International Transit without any infrastructure changes, then there'd be a potential issue, as someone flying in from (say) Turkey and on to (say) the USA, would be able to enter the UK via the domestic arrivals route from the common departure lounge, and there'd be no immigration check.

    This is moot owing to the fact that there is no International Transit at Edinburgh, nor is there elsewhere where arriving domestic and departing international passengers mix airside.
     
  7. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Gatwick and Heathrow mix departures in the same terminal and allow airside transit, though, which could result in a "dodge" as I noted were it not for the fact that on entering security every passenger has their photo taken and it is associated with their PNR so the "boarding pass swap" couldn't be used to enter on the quiet.
     
  8. atillathehunn

    atillathehunn Established Member

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    Norwegian have been allocated three weekly departure (and corresponding arrival) slots at LHR for next year by the lottery system. That's a hefty windfall...
     
  9. gsnedders

    gsnedders Established Member

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    My point was merely their statement that "only" Edinbrugh mixes them is wrong; plenty of other UK airports do too.
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Pretty much all of them do in terms of departing passengers. But for it to be a problem, airside transit from international to UK has to be allowed, and it isn't other than at Heathrow and Gatwick (where the photographing of passengers passing security is used to avoid it) - I can't think of any others.

    Edinburgh allows domestic arrivals straight into the terminal which allows for easier connections (there are a fair few of these from further north) but doesn't allow airside transit for incoming international passengers (i.e. everyone in the departure hall has either come from the UK or cleared UK immigration and customs) so it's not a problem there either.

    At airports allowing airside international transit, there are "flight connections" lanes which require reclearing of security (as the UK doesn't trust other countries' security) but not immigration/customs. However trusting other UK airports is allowed.
     
  11. stut

    stut Established Member

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    You can also think back to those innocent days when Gatwick had a special immigration lane for CTA arrivals. You got channelled in through international arrivals rather than the little domestic pier, and waved a boarding pass stub with DUB, GCI or whatever on it, and they just ushered you through. Seems rather unbelievable these days.
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Still exists at some airports. Fairly sure Luton does it that way. Actually, no, it was Gatwick, and it was no more than 5 years ago or so.
     
  13. stut

    stut Established Member

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    I flew JER-LGW in 2010, and that was definitely done as a domestic arrival (with a detour via a non-EU carousel - I remember because domestic arrivals at LGW N takes such a RIDICULOUSLY roundabout route). Willing to believe South Terminal was still managing the BE/GR turboprop flights in this way, though.
     
  14. FQTV

    FQTV Member

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    The key point, though, is that at Edinburgh - as you mentioned in your post - arriving and terminating domestic passengers pass through the departures area, which is common to both departing domestic and international passengers.

    This does not happen at Heathrow, and the biometrics there are to prevent boarding pass swaps etc. It’s not the case at Heathrow that there’s a door from the airside departures area marked ‘UK Arrivals’ through which you can simply walk out unchallenged - which is the case at Edinburgh.

    Indeed, it’s actually reasonably difficult to return landslide from airside at all at T5, as BAA staff have to be summoned to accompany you. This is not the case at some other terminals, however, and some ‘weak points’ may continue to exist at those.
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I've never wholly understood the reason for most airports being like this. If you could exit to international arrivals without escort that would seem easier - almost everyone is going to have their passport on them anyway, and the few that don't could be escorted back.
     
  16. Butts

    Butts Established Member

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    FQTV I am glad you have surfaced as my resident " Airline Expert"

    After reading some reviews online about Last Minute whom I reserved my Holiday with next year I have few questions. (and worries)

    I only had to pay a 10% deposit (Black Friday Offer normally 25%) on my Florida Adventure next year with the balance due a month or so before I travel. I got a booking confirmation after paying the deposit detailing the Business Class Flights I had requested and the Hotel Reservation. Since I booked the flights I am on have reached stratospheric levels.

    As I have only paid £400 towards a £4k holiday how would they have been able to reserve my Airline Tickets at the original much lower price without fronting the money themselves. We are talking about then £3K tickets now more like £5K. You can't access your actual ticket until the balance has been paid on their system.

    If they make a major change to my booking like changing the flights completely I believe I am entitled to cancel and receive a full refund free of charge according to their terms and conditions. However from reviews I have read this is harder in practice than alluded to.

    If i cancel early doors they claim that charges made by the Airline would be recovered along with my deposit. This sounds like nonsense as seemingly you could sell my tickets 10 times over judging by the escalating price.

    The main concern I have is not paying the balance until next July and then finding out they have not even booked anything yet and have little left to offer. Or will they have a credit line with BA that extends to some considerable time. By all accounts their call centre is in India and littered with incoherent individuals reading off a script.

    I wish I had booked with BA Direct - what put me off was having to pay in Euros and the conversion charge the bank would apply on a large foreign transaction.
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Because full-service airlines have a different deal with agents than they do with the public, and normally only a deposit (or indeed no payment at all) is required to secure the seats at that price. The balance (or full amount) is paid much later when the flight is "ticketed".
     
  18. Butts

    Butts Established Member

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    I have booked things with them in the past with no problems but nothing this big. Am I worrying unecessarily ?

    Have just checked BA's website the flights for my son and I are now over NINE THOUSAND EUROS.

    A reminder I have been contracted at £4.1K incuding the Hotel for 14 Nights which is not included in the above price. We are talking about next August not next week !!
     
    Last edited: 3 Dec 2019
  19. Royston Vasey

    Royston Vasey Established Member

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    There's a much quicker way, which is to take the transit to T5C and stay on it back to T5A, and re-enter the UK through passport control. There's usually no security sweep at C gates and even if there is you aren't doing anything wrong as long as you are entitled to enter the UK. Getting back through may require some tapping by airline or airport staff as you are recorded as being airside by that point.
     
  20. FQTV

    FQTV Member

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    Booking direct with the airline may or may not have you got the same deal. However, if they could do the deal, then one thing to note for the future is that if you called BA in the UK to make the booking, they would have charged you in Sterling, albeit potentially with a booking fee for an offline sale.

    As it is, though, you’ve booked a package which is ATOL protected, presumably using a card which will also have some purchase protection. In the event that lastminute.com (BravoNext S.A.) were to go pop before you pay the balance, you’d get your money back, probably quite swiftly.

    If they were to go after you’ve paid the balance and your tickets have been issued, then there’s a reasonable chance that you wouldn’t have anything to worry about, as either the money will have been remitted to the airline and hotel, or bonded to them. And, it’s almost unheard of for an airline like BA to cancel a travel agent issued ticket. The PR is appalling.

    Rest assured, though, that they have booked your trip, and the fact that the price may have changed since is completely and utterly irrelevant. Just be glad that you’re not having to pay that.

    Yes, by any reasonable measure.

    The specific circumstances that we’re discussing are to do with not having or showing a passport and providing a route for terminating (or offloading) domestic passengers, though. The ‘Transit to T5C and return’ route again only works for those holding a passport and with the right to (re)enter the U.K. on it.

    Otherwise, you do have to be accompanied at T5.
     
  21. Royston Vasey

    Royston Vasey Established Member

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    If a connecting passenger's origin is domestic then they have the right to be in the UK. And obviously departures aren't segregated, arrivals are. You stated you have to be accompanied by BAA staff, which isn't necessarily true, wherever you're flying. So my point applies to both domestic departures and connections from domestic flights. You can't get airside without a passport.

    You seem to be implying my point is moot, and it's not. I'm saying there's another way but you would be stopped if not entitled to enter the UK. That it isn't a loophole. If you didn't have the right to be in the UK at all then you wouldn't be permitted airside if accompanied either and it would be checked. I'm agreeing with you.
     
  22. FQTV

    FQTV Member

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    The thread of the discussion was about a particular situation which prevails at Edinburgh Airport and how that can continue to be the case without presenting an immigration issue. The distinction was being drawn between the Edinburgh situation and that which prevails at Heathrow T5.

    Describing the various different other scenarios and processes which apply at Terminal 5, albeit quite correctly, is tangential to the main thread of the discussion.
     
  23. Butts

    Butts Established Member

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    I would not have booked by phone with BA but online. When you enter Dublin as the departure point the prices automatically switch to Euros and if as I did do a dummy booking that is the currency displayed at the end when you go to pay.

    My apprehension has been created partly by the online reviews about Last Minute and the fact you are unable to see your ticket until you have paid the final balance.

    Thinking about it I now hold an option on a valuable commodity that has increased hugely in value since I opted to aquire it. If I were to ring them and ask to change my flight would they appreciate this and aquiesce free of charge. All the other BA routings on the same day and destination are half the price or less. They would then be able to offload it on someone else and trouser the huge difference at the current price it is being offered at.

    You can probably guess what I am really irked by (foolishly?) that I wish I had booked an option via LHR having to change Airports on arrival to connect to my flight to Orlando from Gatwick. On the surface this appears rather foolish but does come with certain advantages. Firstly BA them selves ( rather than Aer Lingus) operate these flights. This means I would have been in Club Europe with Lounge access at the outset of my trip from Dublin rather than cattle. Also on returning from Orlando I could have dropped the last leg completely and rather than going back to Ireland just made my way home by Train from Heathrow. This route means the return of your hold luggage to take with you on transferring Airports enabling you to invoke the "I got stuck in traffic and missed my connection" dodge. The LHR option was no dearer. Remember the reason I opted to go to Ireland to commence the trip is the huge difference in price between that option and booking the same from a UK Airport.

    Finally were I to cancel do you think they would and could chase me for any thing more than the deposit. It's not like it would cost them anything as the trip is so far off and they would have trousered my £400 gratis. I can't believe BA or the Hotel would charge them anything they would seek to recover from me as they must do a lot of business with both.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  24. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    I think I'd be the same as yourself, a little annoyed I couldn't see a ticket until the balance was paid, but in what form would you expect this to be in? Genuine question, to be clear. I semi-regularly book trips on BA through the BA Holidays scheme, indeed I did so for Canada to save myself a large chunk on the flights. Nearly £1,000 for the flights, payable there and then, or about £660 for the flights and hotel, with just the deposit paid at that time, yeah I wasn't going to turn that down!

    The point here is that I still got confirmation emails for the booking, so I knew I was going on the trip as long as it was paid for on time. If not then obviously I'd lose my deposit and the trip. A confirmation email, in this day and age at least, is as good as a paper ticket arriving in the post, as far as I'm concerned.

    It's also worth noting you can put your booking details into the BA app and it'll be there too. I like the Timeline thing in the app, for the countdown. It's the little things that matter...Putting the booking reference into the app does help make it feel much more of a live booking, if that makes sense. Something to consider?

    It's interesting that you got a vastly better price from Dublin though. I'm making a note to check from Dublin in the future for long-haul flights...

    EDIT: As for cancelling the trip, there should be a cancellation policy in the original booking email, near the end. Usually is with BA Holidays, and most other places involving a deposit, and yes if you were to cancel today all you should pay is that original deposit. Plus any fees listed in their cancellation policy, which I don't have any knowledge of with LastMinute.

    I'd not personally be cancelling that trip though!
     
  25. Butts

    Butts Established Member

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    I have been following your "Asian Adventures" with interest - seems like you had a blast.

    The reason Business Class tickets are particularly cheaper from Dublin is the lack of Air Passenger Duty as the flight emanates outside the clutches of the UK Treasury. This is even more relevant on "Beggars Business Class Flights" where the proportion of APD makes up a greater proportion of the ticket price. I would only ever be at this end of the market !!! Interestingly Inverness up here is exempt from APD as well but the impact only seemed to be noticeable on Premium Economy Fares not Business Class.

    I to was looking at the BA holiday page but as I mentioned earlier you had to pay in Euros online.

    I am seriously thinking of cancelling the trip with Last Minute and standing the expected loss of £400 deposit. Luckily a Black Friday offer reduced this from the normal 25%. What I have to find out is if they are likely to pursue me for cancellation charges "from their suppliers" They say they will deduct any money owing for the card used to make the booking. Simple way around that one is to cancel the card saying you have lost it and obtain a replacement one which will have a different number and hence be inaccessible to them remotely - I think.

    Legally they are allowed to claim reasonable amounts for costs they incur but I believe 9 months before the trip these will be negligible. I am unable to find any reference to them taking people to court to retrieve unpaid cancellation fees. Still awaiting confirmation of this or that they have ever done it.

    Waiting for RFUK's answer to Simon Calder to respond to my earlier query.
     
  26. FQTV

    FQTV Member

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    I cannot say this too clearly: DO NOT CANCEL.

    There is absolutely nothing to suggest that there's anything wrong with the booking, but even if you had to cancel, your only liability is the deposit. That's what a deposit is for. There is not even the remotest possibility of any further costs being incurred, so you can discount that idea completely.

    When you pay the balance, you will be able to see the ticket numbers. If you do not receive the ticket numbers, and/or British Airways tell you that they have not been issued, then raise a dispute with your card issuer. It won't happen, though.

    And to also be clear, what I am saying to you is that, when you see something on ba.com, it will always be priced in the sales currency of the departure city. However if you ring BA up in the UK, you will be charged in Sterling at the direct conversion rate. No card fees, no inflated tourist foreign exchange rates.

    I appreciate that you may be slightly surprised at just how much airfares can vary, but they do and that's all about it.

    One final thing about departures from Dublin: the fare variation is almost nothing to do with the absence of APD; it's about some very specific competitive positions that airlines take in that market, and it means that Transatlantic premium class fares are often a great deal lower than they are when originating from the connecting point (ie in your case London).

    For other examples, see BA from Amsterdam; KLM from any UK airport; Qatar Airways from Oslo etc., etc., etc.
     
  27. berneyarms

    berneyarms Established Member

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    Totally agree with the above just pay for your flights with lastminute.com and stop worrying.

    Last minute do offer bargain deals like this every so often - nothing unusual about it.

    Connecting flights out of Dublin via European hubs are often priced much lower to try and beat the direct options from Dublin.
     
  28. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Which I suppose does make sense, if you can get a booking for Dublin to Orlando via London for say £2,000 with a significant undercut of your competitor then that's £2,000 you'd have not otherwise had. Better than leaving the seats potentially go unsold!

    Sometimes you do get some weird and wonderful options with travel agents. TravelRepublic gave me a funky one when I did Prague, having requested a search for fares from Manchester, London and a few other places. Jet2 Manchester to Prague and Flybe Prague to London Southend. All in one booking, accommodation included, and I didn't have any faffing around to do, quite fortunate since booking such a routing on my own would have meant faffing around with two separate airline bookings, with the return fare in the local currency no doubt and a Foreign Transaction Fee from the bank on top of that. So to be fair TravelRepublic did me proud, I haven't used them in a while but that could soon change.

    My advice to Butts, as FQTV said, is again to NOT CANCEL THE TRIP.
     
  29. Butts

    Butts Established Member

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    Could I draw your attention to a thread entitled "Anyone Else Disappointed by Last Minute .com on Trip Advisor and see if you still hold them in high esteem.

    Apparently the decline set in when Bravofly bought them a few years ago. Their call centre is in India and seemingly a lot of those employed there have not aquired the fluency in English one would expect for such a position.

    They are a front for some Spanish Travel Agent when you look into the detail. The anecdotal evidence from the Trip Advisor thread referred to is a litany of disasters and woe. Obviously this is probably only a small number of clients who have experienced problems. However the worrying aspect is their almost total abdication of responsibility if something goes "pete tong" Have a cursory glance and you will quickly realise why I have become so apprehensive and my post on there right at the end.

    With regard to cancellation their terms and conditions state that they can claim up to nearly the whole cost of the booking - not just the deposit. I feel this may be a little fanciful and thank god i only had to front 10% due to the offer. Are you positive that were i to cancel at this stage 9 months out, my only liability would be for the deposit ? In theory I don't have to pay any more prior to a few weeks before departure so they are possibly exposed to a big risk.

    I think I may ask them for a proof that they have reserved the flights and hotel I asked for. More importantly that it is a Business Class booking. It's all very well saying you can cancel and claim your money back if they make a substantial change to your booking but that does not help if it happens when you are at the airport and have outlayed a lot of associated expenditure. See the TA thread for examples and their poor record of communication and actions to alleviate problems encountered.
     
  30. Butts

    Butts Established Member

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    Check the thread referred to and see if you would not be concerned !!
     

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